Perhaps some day I’ll tell the full “Tale of the Red Ants” (it involves another person and I don’t have permission) but for today, I’ll simply say: the bottom line is that I learned my style of solving problems isn’t very effective. And I finally have an idea of what might be better.
You see, I tend to focus on the problems in my life. I beat them to death and analyze them until 2 AM. However, when I do this, it’s a lot like invading a red-ants’ nest and expecting to have some peace and quiet while I solve the problem. The ants get so mad that they bite me; and I respond by slapping/killing/stepping on them. It’s a vicious cycle and nothing really improves.
The big paradigm shift was that I needed to step away from the problems altogether. I needed to find a place where it’s safe to sit down and sit still. I needed to focus on what I wanted instead of how to avoid what I didn’t want. In the experience, when I found a new spot of ground away from the red ants, I even made friends with a little black ant, who preferred being on my hand more than on the mountainside. We both had a lot of joy because of it.
Today, this lesson took on another new application:
Brynn isn’t doing well.
We’ve had major diarrhea (+ more) since coming home from the hospital. She's also vomited and retched countless times in the last week (I didn’t even know it was possible to retch without a fundo, and yet she does). So it turns out—at least in the near term—that not only was the problem NOT fixed by surgery, but now we’ve added a whole host of other problems, too.
I even dreaded church (and I never dread church) because of the questions. I know people only ask because they care, and I usually don’t mind answering, but this time I didn’t have the answers. And, frankly, I couldn’t bear to hear the questions without crying because I wanted NOTHING more than to have those answers. Even still, no matter what I tried, I was not getting anywhere. The familiar feeling reminded me of the red ants.
So here I am now. Perhaps it’s time to refocus. Perhaps it’s time to sit down and sit still. Perhaps it’s time to see—and create—simple, daily joys. I gave this idea a try today and it brought a lot of peace.
I like the peace.
So I’ll work again tomorrow to keep my focus on the present. And, just like I found with the little black ant, maybe Brynn and I will find more joy, too.
2011Res: To Matt: I appreciated your help so I could nap today. To my girls: today I savored your ability to make me laugh even when I didn't feel like laughing...I was in the kitchen when I overheard Brynn say, "This is a tampon, Heidi!"
Dear Mr H: today I told my mom how great you are--loud enough so you could hear--because I wanted you to know I love you.
Noah's 5th Birthday
2 months ago